Arsenal

Mikel Arteta says player Arsenal ‘really need’ has been absent much longer than hoped

Arsenal star Takehiro Tomiyasu has hardly been seen in the last few months, and Mikel Arteta has now explained why he has been absent for so long.

The defender was in the best form of his Arsenal career before picking up an injury in November, and he featured for just 45 minutes in the defeat to Fulham at the end of December before joining Japan for their Asia Cup campaign.
Tomiyasu featured regularly for his country, but has failed to make a single matchday squad since returning amid further injury concerns.

Arteta has now claimed that the club do not want to risk further injury to Tomiyasu, whom they consider vital, and will aim to keep him fit for a crucial run-in coming up towards the end of the season.

Mikel Arteta explains extended Takehiro Tomiyasu Arsenal absence

Speaking in his pre-match press conference ahead of Monday’s trip to face Sheffield United, Arteta explained why the club have taken a cautious approach to Tomiyasu’s return.
He had an injury in the last game he played with Japan,” he stated.

“He felt something. He was out, we expected it to be a little bit shorter but in the beginning, he was struggling with the recovery and we decided to extend that period to be more certain, because he is a player we really need.

“We are very short and he’s a player that we cannot risk to be out for months. I think it (recurring injury) is something slightly different to that.”
Arsenal have a fairly light schedule for now, but with a home game against Chelsea now postponed, the month of April looks set to be hectic, with crucial Premier League and Champions League games to navigate in a short space of time.

With Jakub Kiwior impressing of late, there is little need to rush Tomiyasu back from injury now, and risk losing him later this season.

When Arsenal’s fixtures pile up, they will hope to have a fully fit squad to give themselves a chance of the title, and Tomiyasu will be crucial on both flanks to rotate for Ben White, Oleksandr Zinchenko and Kiwior.

His injuries came at a frustrating time given his excellent form earlier this season, but if Arsenal can navigate Tomiyasu to full fitness in time for the vital part of the season, he could be a massive influence on their chances of success this season.

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